– The number of UN resolutions against Israel should be reduced

Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt (Labor Party) acknowledged that several UN resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “have overlapping themes”. – Norway believes that the number of resolutions should be further reduced, he said.

The three parties recently challenged the Foreign Minister over Norway’s actions against Israel in the UN system. The last one is KrF, where party leader Olaug Bollestad recently asked Huitfeldt a written questions about the number of UN resolutions directed at Israel.

“It has long been proven that the United Nations and some of its sub-organizations have a disproportionate number of resolutions, statements and reports that unilaterally criticize Israel,” Bollestad wrote.

He asked if the foreign minister acknowledged “that there is such an imbalance”, and what “the government would do to distance itself from and help stop such an imbalance”.

Bollestad points out that the UK is an example of a country that clearly rejects this practice, stating in 2019 that it would vote against all anti-Israel resolutions at the UN Human Rights Council.

BALANCE POINTS: KrF leader Olaug Bollestad asked the Foreign Minister to answer whether he acknowledged that there was an imbalance against Israel in the number of resolutions adopted in the UN system. Photo: Terje Bendiksby / NTB

– Very unbalanced

“All governments should be held accountable for their handling of human rights. Nevertheless, the UN practice of focusing disproportionately on Israel, while ignoring gross and systematic violations of human rights in other countries of the world, appears to be deeply unbalanced,” convinced Bolestad.

He pointed out that former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pointed this out in one of his last speeches, where he said:

“Decades of political maneuvering have resulted in a disproportionate number of resolutions, reports and conferences criticizing Israel.”

Bollestad further referred to the UN Watch organization, which has charted that Israel accepts 14 resolutions against it by 2021, while other countries accept a total of five. KrF leaders placed particular focus on how the UN Human Rights Council acted:

“Since the creation of the UN Human Rights Council, more resolutions have been adopted against Israel than against Iran, Syria and North Korea combined. The Human Rights Council has also held more urgent meetings and investigations into Israel than any other country, and they continue the practice of making Israel a permanent agenda at every meeting.

– The amount must be reduced

Last week, the answer came. Huitfeldt insisted that it was Norway’s view that the number of resolutions should be reduced.

“The government is aware of criticism that the United Nations has adopted more resolutions related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than any other conflict and land situation,” the foreign minister wrote, adding:

“Several resolutions deal with overlapping issues. From the Norwegian side, we believe that the number of resolutions has decreased slightly in recent years, without a focus on diminishing population rights. Norway believes that the number of resolutions should be further reduced.

However, he did not promise that this point would cause Norway to vote against the resolution.

“Would sue to select the text we actually support, simply because we think the total number of resolutions is too high,” he wrote.

Supports multiple resolutions

Huitfeldt commented that Norway “for several years” has considered many of the resolution texts Bollestad referred to, as “in line with Norwegian politics and international law”. “Therefore it is natural to vote for them,” claimed the foreign minister.

Huitfeldt stressed that Norway is not a member of the Human Rights Council and therefore did not participate in the vote there. When Norway votes in, for example, the United Nations General Assembly, concrete judgments are made for each individual resolution – and sometimes votes in favor, even if one disagrees with everything, she explains:

“Norway voted for resolutions that we believed were in line with Norwegian policy and international law. This does not mean that we have to agree with all individual formulations, or the absence of such, in the resolutions we vote for.”

Right: – We follow

Sometimes Norway provides an explanation of the voting to convey its views. This happened in December, when Norway backed a resolution in Jerusalem, in which the Temple Mount in the Old City was mentioned only by the Arabic name Haram al-Sharif. Israel is referred to as an “occupying power” and denied that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. Instead, Israel is accused of “trying to change the character and status of the holy city of Jerusalem.” All “attempts to apply Israeli law and jurisdiction, or to exercise administration, over the holy city of Jerusalem,” are deemed “illegal,” the resolution said.

That Norway voted for this, while among others the United States and Canada voted against, made Ingjerd Schou’s Conservatives react. He asked Huitfeldt a written question about the January vote.

“I wanted to show the Foreign Minister and the government that we are following how Norway takes its position on the Israel-Palestine issue,” Schou told Norway TODAY at the time, explaining:

– I understand it so there is still a political opinion that we should have a balanced approach to this. I will closely monitor whether the government maintains a balanced approach, and does not take sides. How the government takes a position is then important to follow. We know that there are representatives in the Foreign Minister’s party who are more pro-Palestinian than those with a balanced approach like the one I championed.

FrP: – The new commission will continue the imbalance

FrP leader Sylvi Listhaug also recently challenged the Foreign Minister about Norway’s position vis–vis Israel at the United Nations. Listhaug replied that Norway was involved in establishing a majority in the UN General Assembly for permanent annual funding of a committee appointed by the Human Rights Council, which would investigate “all alleged violations of international law and human rights in the West Bank, Gaza and Israel.”

Listhaug believes that both the text of the resolution approved by the Human Rights Council, and the reaction after it, provide reason to believe that the new committee of inquiry will focus solely on Israel, and not on other actors in the conflict. . He warned about this in a written question to Huitfeldt.

There he refers to the same facts about the resolution against Israel which Bollestad later points out in his question.

“There is good reason to worry that a new commission of inquiry will help continue disproportionate and disproportionate criticism of Israel,” Listhaug warned.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also commented on inequality in 2018

The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also stated in 2018, during the Solberg administration, that Norway believed the number of UN resolutions against Israel should be reduced.

– Norway believes that the number of annual Palestinian resolutions in the UN General Assembly can be significantly reduced. Changing this requires a majority among UN member states, which is not the case today, then Secretary of State Audun Halvorsen (H) told TODAY Norway at the time.

At that time, the UN system had adopted 21 resolutions with critical content of Israel during the last two months of this year, while in the same period, a total of six resolutions were adopted which directed criticism towards other countries in the world.

Elena Eland

"Web specialist. Incurable twitteraholic. Explorer. Organizer. Internet nerd. Avid student."

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